Catholic Charities won a temporary court order to continue serving nearly 2,000 Illinois foster children after the state ended its contract because the group refuses to place children with same-sex and unwed couples, reports the Sun-Times.
Catholic Charities of Joliet is one of three plaintiffs in the case, which also includes Catholic Charities in the dioceses of Peoria and Springfield. Catholic Charities sought the preliminary injunction, which was issued in Sangamon County Circuit Court, after being notified last week that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services would not renew foster care and adoption contracts with the agencies.
The DCFS letter came in the midst of a legal fight centered on the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, which permitted civil unions between gay and unmarried couples but also granted certain freedoms to religious groups with beliefs opposed to such unions.
Catholic Charities wants to continue its past practice of referring gay and unmarried couples to other agencies for foster care and adoption services. ... A DCFS spokesman would only say Tuesday that the agency is reviewing the order. Gov. Pat Quinn and other state officials have said that the decision to terminate the relationship with Catholic Charities was based on the organization’s unwillingness to comply with the new state law.
The next hearing is mid-August.
The civil unions law took effect on June 1. Four Catholic Charities agencies announced soon afterwards that they would no longer license any foster parents. Three of those same agencies sought the injunction against the state from terminating their contract.
Five days before the civil unions law went into effect, the Catholic Diocese of Rockford laid off 58 workers and chose to end all adoption and foster care services rather than comply with the state's new civil unions legislation.